Paramount Plus Readies for Europe Launch: ‘We’d Love to Unseat Netflix’ – Mipcom

·3-min read

Paramount Plus’s Douglas Craig outlined the streamer’s strategy during a keynote panel at Mipcom as it readies to launch in Europe in 2022.

Craig, ViacomCBS’s SVP of programming and acquisitions, said that “Europe is the next logical step” for the platform, which has already launched in 25 markets this year, including Latin America, the Nordics, Australia and Canada.

More from Variety

He described Europe as a “complicated” market to enter however, not only in terms of the quotas for local content but also the numerous distribution channels.

“Our philosophy is ubiquitous distribution,” Craig said. “We’re not necessarily focused on only direct to consumer, like Disney Plus might be doing.”

In the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria (GSA), for example, Paramount Plus will launch on Sky platforms. Craig explained that according to the deal, Paramount Plus and Comcast/ViacomCBS streaming co-venture SkyShowtime will be mutually exclusive in a number of territories, with customers experiencing one or the other depending on their location.

“For us, in the industry, it can be confusing, I get it, but if you’re a consumer in those markets, it’ll be pretty singularly clear. Like, it’s not either/or,” he said. “You’ll have access to one or the other.”

He was also sanguine about where Paramount Plus may sit within the streaming wars, admitting: “When we go into a market, we know that we’re not – well, hopefully, we’d love to unseat Netflix – but we know that’s not our go-to market strategy.”

“So, you know we’ve positioned ourselves, you know in that two or three, number four spot.”

Craig also discussed the balancing act that Paramount Plus must carry out, both in terms of local content versus U.S. content (the latter of which dominates thanks to its sister brands including Paramount Pictures, Paramount TV Studios, Showtime, CBS, MTV and Nickelodeon) as well as film versus television content and new versus library content.

“There are things like movies, which are a fantastic tool to get people to sign up for your service,” he said. “But then you’d be surprised on the things that people say keeps them subscribed. So for example, kids content is a massive driver, the library of movies, library of TV shows.”

As such, like many of the traditional studio-owned streamers, Paramount Plus is slowly clawing back its library of content from distributors. “Our goal is to repatriate that content and bring it back home, so to speak. The way things are distributed that can’t happen overnight.”

Craig also said that the company is considering many forms of streaming, including AVOD and SVOD, and reiterated Viacom’s commitment to linear, saying: “Our company was built on linear television. It’s still a huge part of our focus, we’re not shying away from that.”

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting